Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No Agenda with John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry

I had heard stuff last year about Adam Curry doing podcasting. in that same conversation I heard he was actually a pioneer in podcasting. They dubbed him the podfather or father of podcasting. I had my doubts about his stuff without having listened to it, due to him having been a VJ and seeming a little "weird" or at least out of my paradigm. This year he made some appearances on the podcasts I listen to and he was better than I thought, but still a little "weird".

The other day I heard that he was doing a podcast on his podcast network with John C. Dvorak. I generally like John's stuff so I figured I would give it a shot. Plus if cranky John can tolerate Adam and have a discussion podcast with him then I'll give it a listen.

I have only listened to two of their podcast episodes for No Agenda. I was only half listening at work and was being distracted by the large amount of profanity being used by Adam and even the occasional drop from John, but the discussion seemed fairly balanced. I couldn't tell what side Adam came down on a topic they seemed to just talk about it and what other people's position was on it.

Back to the profanity thing. It took away some from the intelligence of the conversation. Now I will admit upfront that I believe in a more reverent way of speaking, even though I don't always keep my speech as reverent as I should. But for the sake of this discussion let's say they are just words like any other words. Adam drops the F bomb in almost every sentence. Just like the overuse of any word when one is speaking it is distracting to say the least. It took away from what he was saying.

Another point on the profanity use is that podcasts have a smaller audience anyway. Why alienate anyone who might listen that doesn't want to hear that stuff or who has develops a bias to the speaker when profanity is used. I myself am probably going to try one or two more of this podcast, but will probably give up on it after that.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Premonition (2007)

Scale 0-10 0=none 10=Ultimate
Immodesty = 3
Violence = 6
Language = 7
Sex = 2
Plot = 7
Action = 5
Suspense = 7
Character Development = 5
Plot Development = 5

I found Premonition at the library. It seemed like a fun premise when I saw the previews on TV, but the previews disappeared after a short time. That didn't bode well for it and the box said it was 93 minutes or something like that, so I didn't have high hopes. Sandra Bullock is often good in movies, so I figured we could give it a shot.

It turned out it was slow. The script also had some continuity issues. Several of the continuity issues were resolved after my wife and I talked about the movie afterward. The fact that we it gave us something to do together to figure through it afterward made it semi worthwhile.

There was brief profanity. But one of them was an F-bomb, so I rated it a bit harder. I was suprised to hear that ina PG13 film.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Man of the Year (2007)

Scale 0-10 0=none 10=Ultimate
Immodesty = 2
Violence = 2
Language = 6
Sex = 7
Plot = 7
Action = 5
Suspense = 4
Character Development = 6
Plot Development = 4

As far as I can recall everyone seemed to be clothed fairly modestly.

The violence was pretty tame for having suspense and mystery elements. There were several attacks and attempted attacks on people.

Language and Sex
I'm going to group these together because there is only one huge issue I had in these areas and it was the same thing, Robin Williams' blue standup. We have seen that he is very capable of doing clean and hilarious improv (Aladin, Mrs. Doubtfire, and to some extend Mork), but when he drops to the gutter he digs deep. There were several scenes where he was doing graphic sexual gestures and talk. All of which, I felt, took away from the plot.

Plot and Plot Development
The plot a had a lot of potential. The idea of someone running and saying it straight and not taking money from special interest group as well as the scandle with voting machine. It turned out to be mostly about Robin Williams blue comedy and less about making the plot tight and believable.

There was a fair amount of action, but could've been better integrated with a good plot development.

There was a little suspense as people were being pursuded, but pretty tame.

Character Development
We got to know the characters fairly well, but with a better plot it would've rounded them out more. The wrap up by the psuedo narator helped a lot with the main character, but the co staring characters could've been given more story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Farley's Gummy Bears

A friend bought a five pound bag of Farley's Gummy Bears. He brought them in to share partly because he is a generous guy and partly because he had to unload these travesties of gelatin candy.

I love gummy candy and I love to eat, but these things were very difficult for even me to stomach. It was not for the lack of trying. I ate many of these, trying to make them enjoyable, but they just made my stomach hurt.

Friday, May 18, 2007

CBS Innertube - Why do the ads have to be so LOUD?

I have being trying out some of the television network web sites that have reruns of their shows online. Most of the interfaces are clunky and the video sometimes stalls, but I can get to many of the shows I want to see without being locked into watching them on a certain day at a certain time.

One of the sites is what CBS calls Innertube. We go there to watch Numb3rs, extras from the Amazing Race, and sometimes other stuff. A lot of times we will watch after the kids are in bed. We settle in and get the volume set so we can hear it without waking the kids and it is a fairly enjoyable experience. Then the first commercial comes on. Even though the commercial is very short the volume is well above that of the show. Even if the noise wasn't waking my kids it really takes away from the relaxing experience.

I have had a similar complaint about movies for a long time. The action sequences and music have the volume cranked up on them. I understand that an explosion might need to be louder than dialog for the effect, but the way they do it is excessive. I get the volume set and I either can't hear the dialog or I get blasted out by special effects.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Dead Zone (TV Show)

This is not a movie or product, per se, but it is a show that caught my attention and I didn't think it would at first. Maybe it was just that I was sick and laid up and watched a marathon of an entire season or so. My perspective may have been distorted, but here are my thoughts.

Pretty clean show. Exceptions to that are as follows:
-I believe profanity has been dropped a couple of times out of about two seasons.
-The show starts with two of the main characters sleeping together after they get engaged and have a child.
-There have been a few bedroom scenes.

The show is about Johnny Smith, who is played by Anthony Michael Hall. Johnny spends his time trying to help people that her perceives, through visions, are in trouble. The visions took some disconnecting from for me in order to get into the show. They tried to tie it to that these visions were possibly given by God. For me, I just don't believe that a stranger has stewardship to receive revelation over another's personal life. You personally, a parent, or a religious leader that has authority given him of God to lead a group of people yes, but just someone off the street who is not even sure of his own religious beliefs was hard for me at first.

The emotions of waking up after six years and having the woman you love and were set to spend your life with be married and having a son who doesn't know you were very touching. Remains to be seen if it will get old.

It was interesting to see Anthony Michael Hall. It was a more serious roll than what I am use to with him. He also looks very different. He has bulked out a little. I guess bulked out is the wrong word. Maybe filled out is a better phrase. He appears much more mature.

They also threw in Alley Sheedy at one point, which was also an interesting flash back for me.

I know my opinion probably sounds very confusing, but for right now I am enjoying the show. One thing they could've improved on is the opening dialog and then opening and closing music. I realize the original idea for this was a Stephen King book, but the feel of these don't match the feel of the show. There is a happy ending and then drop to gloom music.

Edit 5-17-07
Now that I have finished season five I have to pull back a little on my statement that it is a clean show. In season five they seem to have cranked up the profanity. They are using the Lord's name in vain a lot and also other ways the characters are expressing themselves could be done more intelligently and responsibly.

Comparatively there are few bedroom scenes, but still more than I would like and more than I originally thought there would be.

I still think it is really well done in many ways, but if the trend of profanity and eroticism continues I will stop watching.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dada Supreme Tennis Shoes

I have a size 12 pair of Dad Supreme tennis shoes. I have been wearing them for a about a year and nothing seems to break them in. They stay firm. That would be okay if it wasn't for the fact that they are made narrow. My foot is slightly wider than normal. I don't know remember the width, but normal width shoes are usually snug on me. Usually shoes I have purchased in the past have broken in and comfortably accomodated my slightly wider foot.

If you like a shoe that stays firm and you have a normal width or narrow foot these would be good shoes for you. There is significant padding inside the shoe. It is very firm. The shoe also seems to have decent arch support, although I don't have bad arches.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Scale 0-10 0=none 10=Ultimate
Immodesty = 8
Violence = 3
Language = 6
Sex = 7
Plot = 7
Action = 5
Suspense = 2
Character Development = 3
Plot Development = 5

Short skirts, bedroom scenes, and one nude rear scene.

I gave it a six in language not because of the frequency of the language, but because of the types of things they said. From the first scene there were really crude references by one of the characters. The character was supposed to be a shallow guy, but I think we could've gotten the idea with being so graphic.

There was a lot of going down the perverse trail of what it would be like to have a super girlfriend.

THe basic premise was really good I thought, but underdeveloped and shallow. Just like with character development. The plot was there it just took a bad way of displaying it.

Character Development
The movie was a little short at 95 minutes. That made for a fast paced story, but opened it up for cheap humor and shallow characters. Shallow as in not developed and also in stregth of character. Everything about them was on the surface.

In this movie Luke Wilson reminded me of a cross between Gil Gerard and Bill Pullman. This is not a positive of a negative, just an observation.